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- 09 January 2014 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
Well, last night we had our first creative writing meeting via Skype for Mary Magdalene: First at the Tomb. Kendell finally got to introduced Sam and I to Dr. Warren Gage. We have been through this before, but for Kendell and Dr. Gage, this was something new. After briefly discussing how this was going to work, we started discussions based on what we thought might be a good starting point for the movie. Interaction with the whole team then kicked into gear and before you know it, the ideas were flying.
I can't remember the last time we had such a productive meeting. We actually came away with a vision of where we were starting the film - enough for me to start expanding on it into full narrative format. Well, maybe not FULL format, but I was starting to visualize what the movie was looking like and when I get in that zone, it's a very good place to be.
I immediately started writing my ideas down and was on a pretty good flow and continued until I couldn't stay awake any longer. Today I picked up where I left off and this time, finished when the vision for continuing was less clear. That tells me that I'm at a great point to pick it up from there on the next meeting!
See you after that!
- 29 May 2013 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
If you're not saying it out loud, you're probably at least thinking it: "What the heck is taking so long?"
If you could only be here for the day-to-day activities, you would see that there is plenty going on. However, there is also plenty that is been holding us up. I would probably have to sit and count the number of people that have come to the table offering their help and services, saying that they can make an impact or that they want to help and they want to be part of something big. Only to turn out to be a little less than what they advertised. Everything from executive producers to potential partners to investors to potential clients... one after another approached us wide-eyed and bushy tailed ready to rock. And to a bit of a fault, we never really took a cynical approach to dealing with them. In fact, just the opposite. We opened our doors and our minds and really wanted to show them what we can do. And for the most part, all were very impressed and very eager to help us get things rolling.
New relationships take months to develop and when you are working on such a huge endeavor such as this, you really want to be thorough and go through every nook and cranny with a fine-tooth comb with anyone new who comes on board. But for various reasons (some that have been given and others that remain a mystery), these people have all faded away. And as quickly as they fade away, new opportunities arise.
Like the opportunity to start an animation training facility that will also include the ability for those students with learning disabilities to take part at a location here in Pittsburgh as well as take courses on-line. These courses will be offered to the general public too as a non-accredited program. We are still working out the details, so I can't go any further than that.
Another recent opportunity that has come about is an effort to create Christian focused animation projects for both entertainment and education. This opportunity has a great deal of potential and I am really looking forward to seeing how this pans out. But again - too early to go into any details.
We are also finding ways to develop other types of content (such as live-action combined with CG visual effects) for both TV and Film.
We are slowly shaping up to be a full-blown entertainment company. Not just animation, and not just a production house. We are developing content and we are not short of great ideas. But the hold-up always comes down to funding. Who is out there that will step up and see the potential of zoetifex Studios and what we have to offer? Some are starting to come forward, but the question is - will they fade away like the rest, or will something inspire them to make the leap? I know it's always hard to be the first to get on board - I totally get that. But when it happens, and everyone gets to see just what we can do, I would suspect that those who were waiting in the wings will suddenly spring forward. It's so much easier to jump on the bandwagon than to help build it.
There is hardly a day that goes by without some sort of discussion about moving this company forward. Whether it's an idea, following up with a contact, hearing someone's pitch on a project, flushing out a concept or dozens of other conversations with those involved. Let me repeat something that I have said many times before - this is a HUGE endeavor and we are not building this from the top down. I'm not some wealthy financier who decided it would be cool to start an animation company. This idea was conceived by artists and animators - knowing that we can deliver great entertainment and give some very talented artists a full-time job working on various projects that will keep them interested and entertained as well. So, what the heck is taking so long? We're in the process of building the perfect beast. And that takes time, talent, persistence and a whole lot of patience with the waiting game.
We do thank you for your interest and your patience. This will pay off in the end. In the meantime, for anyone interested in someday working for us - keep getting more experience and keep working on your talent and demo reel. Never strive for anything less than great! I know we won't :)
- 23 February 2013 /
- by zoetifex Studios /
U.S. Tax Code 181 was originally drafted as part of The American Jobs Creation Act Of 2004 as a way to keep filming production companies from going up to Canada and elsewhere to film their movies and TV shows.
Last year, it was rolled into the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (The Stimulus plan). What it does, is it allows an investor to get a 100% deduction on their taxes as long as the production company is spending 70% of their finances in the US and that the cost of production is $15M or less ($20M with some provisions).
This acts just like giving to charity only better. What it also does is gives the investor a 9% tax break on any revenue generated from that investment. So for every $100k that someone invests into a project, they get a $35k tax break (figuring that they would probably be at the 35% tax bracket). And for every $100k they make on the invested project, they save $9k in taxes.
We think this is a huge deal!
With the tax breaks and potential revenue, this should be worth a look for anyone who has the ability to invest.